Social media: the new online dating

04 Jul

Since the advent of online dating, the way we date has changed beyond all recognition.

Madeleine Mason Roantree, Dating Coach

Firstly, we now have access to more people. Secondly, online dating is fast becoming one of the most common ways we meet our future spouses. eHarmony, one of the world’s biggest dating sites, predict that over 50% of people in the US will be meeting their life partner online by 2030, a trend likely to spill over into the rest of the world. According to the Mail & Guardian Africa, an estimated 20% of Africa’s one billion inhabitants are currently meeting each other online. This is not restricted to online dating sites and apps, either. People have begun meeting through social media platforms, be they LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.

The downside to online dating is that it can feel like an endless, fruitless search in the proverbial haystack. Online dating inevitably brings with it a fair amount of rejection, not to mention unrequited swipes, dead-ends and non-responses. Furthermore, whilst there may appear to be a limitless pool of singletons, there is not an endless stream of perfect relationships.

On the other hand, social media allows one to ‘approach’ people more organically, as they may have similar interests or values. Connections may be made through mutual friends, too, which automatically creates common ground. Whilst social media still represents an edited version of the self, it does nonetheless portray a more realistic version of the person than does the average online dating site.

People are multifaceted; we have different roles in life, so we portray and emphasize our various characteristics depending on the social media platform. As with real-life encounters, the connections born from social media may begin as friendly approaches, but there is opportunity too for flirtation, allowing romance to flourish despite the two of you never having met. Social media also benefits people too shy to approach someone in real life.

There aren’t any rules per se when it comes to ‘digital dating’. When approaching people on social media, it is not always clear whether they are single. In this sense, it’s not too dissimilar to approaching someone in a bar. When you connect, you might establish their marital status – either by checking out their profile, or just asking. From there, you would continue your approach just as in real life. Initially, this would be through whichever chat function the platform utilises, but, as the friendship develops, you may take it one step further and ask them out.

If you are looking for a serious relationship, you should take things offline sooner rather than later.

Some people use social media primarily for validation – in which case, keep up the digital flirting! Taking things offline, however, is a great way of discovering whether that potential virtual chemistry translates face-to-face.

There is always an alternative to online dating. Matchmaking is the polar opposite of online dating; where the latter can be impersonal and clinical, matchmaking is bespoke and personable. At The Vida Consultancy, we remain distinguished within the industry of love by providing our clients with a unique approach, combining psychological principles and assessments with character-driven profiling and business expertise, creating a personable and warm framework in an increasingly cold, impersonal world. A matchmaker is a friend, a concierge, a therapist, a coach, a counsellor, a confidante, a person who can make your dreams come true, find you that special someone – and help heal that broken heart. Contact us today and see that, whilst futuristic technology is all very well, you cannot beat the human touch.

Dating is hard work.  If you think you could benefit from some one-on-one, expert advice in order to secure a healthy, happy long-term partnership, why not speak to me? I am an expert in both cognitive behavioural therapy and applied positive psychology, with over fifteen years’ experience of helping people – by helping themselves.

It is important to always remember to date in whatever way is most comfortable and suited to you. Whether you meet a partner by more traditional means, such as through friends, family or work, or via an online platform, at the end of the day, the love and happiness you discover will be completely and utterly real.

by Madeleine Mason Roantree

Psychologist

Madeleine has over 15 years of experience in psychology, where she is trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Applied Positive Psychology. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Counselling Psychology, and is member of the British Psychological Society, the International Positive Psychology Association & Dating Industry Professionals Network.More by this author

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